Making a Tinn bunad, part 2: the shirt (skjorten)

This is not super-complicated. I used the Butterick pattern #3072, adjusted to my size.

This is part 2 in an ongoing series. For part one, click here.

This shirt has long, full sleeves and a placket front. I made my own cuffs and standing collar, but you could just make the ones given here. The only real adjustment I would recommend is that the collar be made slightly taller than the pattern suggests. Otherwise, just make sure the measurements of the pattern align to your own.

k2-_a3c12a99-4f75-4002-a5b4-52c562df52f8.v1I made the mistake of making this shirt first without adjustments (I just followed the sizing on the back of the pattern) and I used a heavy white linen. It was huge. I was swimming in the full sleeves and it hung all wrong. Then I adjusted the pattern so that it had far less in the sleeve width and the overall size. Of course, this pattern is for men, so that makes a difference in the shoulder and sleeve length, among other things. One might be able to find a more appropriate pattern for women. I know Ingebertsen’s has a generic Norwegian folk costume, and the shirt might be a better fit.

I made the second shirt with a very light linen-cotton blend and it had a much nicer drape in the end, so I would recommend that over a heavy linen. Cotton is commonly used as well, so feel free to use a nice light cotton. I used over-sewn French seams to ensure longevity, since I don’t have a serger sewing machine and the fabric tended to fray.

Bunad shirt-3

Under side of shoulder seam

Bunad shirt-4

Outside of seam


The shirt most often seen with the Tinn bunad has a plain collar with looped edging. But the collar can be plain or fancy; as far as I can tell both are allowed. Below is a partial Tinn shirt form the Digital Museum of Norway and then a Telemark shirt from a textile exhibition in Telemark, taken by Tom Holmberg. Mr. Holmberg’s flickr collection has some excellent examples of the textiles from Telemark, with special attention to the details: buttons, embroidery, patterns, and accessories. Perfect for someone who is learning. Tinn shirt detail

White shirt collar from Telemark

Photo ©Tom Holmberg, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

For my collar, I borrowed some of this beautiful white-on-white needlework from the other areas of Telemark. I believe it is still within the rules since I have seen decorated collars on Tinn bunader on Instagram. (See #tinnbunad)

I highly recommend that this white-on-white be done under very good light. I made my own pattern on graph paper first, then measured out a piece of Monaco 28-count cotton fabric a little longer than I needed. I began in the middle, then worked my way left and right until I had enough to make the collar about right. However, on my first shirt I made the collar both too tall in height and too short in the length around my neck. This setback was enough to ruin my enthusiasm for almost a year. But I began again… with a longer piece of fabric. My pattern includes both snowflake and mountain references. Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Needlework was a great resource. I used white pearl cotton thread from JoAnne’s Fabric store and some regular white cotton floss, 3 individual strands thick for the edging. Nothing too special in the way of materials.

Bunad shirt-2


After making the collar, I made two cuffs. When the basic shirt was finished, I attached these pieces in place of the ones from the Butterick pattern. The neck can either be closed with a silver Norwegian neck pin or with what is essentially a cuff link made with two silver Norwegian buttons. (You will need to make two buttonholes at the neck if you’ll be using this closure.) Martha Stewart has a tutorial on making cuff links this way. It’s best to use two buttons that match the style that you will use on the vest. These items can be ordered from the goldsmiths at, located in Rjukan, not far from Tinn. Here is a link to the neck closures.  These details will be discussed at length in a future post on accessories. Stay tuned.

Bunad shirt full-2

Voila. Your shirt is finished!!

4 thoughts on “Making a Tinn bunad, part 2: the shirt (skjorten)

  1. Pingback: Making a Tinn bunad, part 1: Backstory and overview | Thirty Marens Agree

  2. Pingback: Making a Tinn bunad, part 3: the skirt (stakken) | Thirty Marens Agree

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